Healthy Ass Banana Bread made with gluten, oil and refined sugar free ingredients

Recipe and photos: Alex Wolfe

Time to make: 20 minutes

Time to bake: 45-55 minutes

Give yourself: An hour and half

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With summer around the corner we're all wondering how the hell to stop eating bagels and pizza and cupcakes and start eating salad because maybe we're over 30 and maybe we have beach plans and maybe chub rub is a thing.  So, I bring you this segue to summer favorite: HEALTHY AF BEANANNER BREAD.  I'll be honest, my first few attempts at testing this recipe produced a sort of sand like brick of tasteless poo.  But after some major adjustments, the banana and the maple syrup and the dark chocolate chunks really came through and my brick of sand turned into something

curiously subtle

yet flavorful

nutty

light

and not too sweet

crisped edges with a delicate center

A perfect end-of-winter-hello-sunshine balanced treat that will satiate even the most sweet-toothed monster (such as myself.  Oh, you too?)

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This shit is bananas

***QUICK PSA ON BALANCE***

It's like.  Supremely annoying.  How important.  Balance is.  

But it's so important.

For me, balance has interrupted so much intentional acting out and often times debaucherous good fun, reminding me to slow the fuck down, and return to my health.  Like myself, and my body.  Understand my body has limitations and needs breaks.  Good old fashioned down time.  And if we can tap into that by focusing on the valuable thing something gives us that we need and not just be impressed by how it delivers what we want then we start to enjoy the tastes and sensations of nutrient dense foods, lots of water, meditation, sex, dancing, maybe some temporary sobriety.  A checking in of sorts.  We.  Must.  Do.  It.  I mean, I'm telling you you can start small by making fucking banana bread, so it's really not that bad.  I love traditional banana bread with it's moist stick-of-butter vibe and cake like mouthfeel, but like me back it does not! What I'm offering you here is something different.  This is not junk food, so it won't taste like junk food and you may find yourself chewing and whining that this isn't smacking you in the face with a sugar-y blast of breakfast cakey-ness.  It will taste like the nutrient dense, salt of the earth, plant based goodness that it is.  It will fuel your day and it will serve you.  And I promise I made all the changes so that it does in fact also delight your taste buds, and no, not in the eating sand kind of way.  Enjoy eet.

INGREDIENTS:

2 Flax Eggs 

2.5 Bananas REAL RIPE (and by ripe I mean black and spoiled looking)

1 TBSP Almond, Soy or Coconut Milk

1 TBSP Pure Maple Syrup

2 TBSP Vanilla Extract

1/2  Cup Apple Sauce

1.5 Cups Almond Flour

1/2 Cup Coconut Flour*

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 Cup Lightly Toasted Pecans

1/2 Dark Chocolate Chunks (chips, or cacao nibs for totally refined sugar free option)

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DIRECTIONS:

★ Pre-heat your oven to 350℉ and lightly grease a 9x5 inch bread loaf pan.

★ In a small bowl, make your flax eggs (2 Tbsp + 1 tsp of ground flax seed mixed with 6 TBSP water)

★ Mash 2 whole bananas with a fork (or in a mixer) and add the flax eggs.  Mix well.

★ Add the "milk," vanilla and maple syrup and mix again until combined.

★ Add everything else minus the pecans.

★ Chop the pecans into bits and toast in a non-stick pan over low heat (approximately 5 minutes or until fragrant).

★ Lastly, mix in the chocolate and the pecans.

★ Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and using a silicone spatula (or metal spoon) smooth until even (you don't have to be perfect, just try and get it so it settles into a mostly even shape).

★ Bake in the middle rack for about an hour (start checking at 45 minutes by inserting a tooth pick in center until it comes out clean - I cooked mine for 55 minutes).

★ WHAT DO I DO WITH THAT OTHER 1/2 BANANA YOU MENTIONED?  I took some really cute teeny, tiny cookie cutters and cut star shapes out of banana slices.  After the loaf is in the oven for thirty minutes, gently push banana cut out into the top of the loaf (feel free to COVER it for more flavor and sprinkle with coconut sugar for a caramelizing effect).  

So yeah.  I added gluten free oats (about 1/3 cup whole and uncooked for some crunch).  You can basically add whatever you want.  Some ideas: Cinnamon, cardamom (a damn smidge or you'll ruin it ok?), pine nuts, dried cherries ... if you do add something definitely comment and let us know how it turns up!  Also, if you don't have coconut flour you can replace it with more almond flour.  Or you can use all purpose white flour if gluten free isn't a concern.

Stuffed Dates

"I'm sorry.  Does this crazy (albeit adorable) chick Alex think there's any chance I just smoked a fattie and now I'm suddenly craving fruit? Cuz....no."

I know that silly!  The reason this is being featured in the stoner snack section, is because I know you ate a whole bag of Oreos last weekend, and I know you felt like proper shit after - I know because I've been there...many, many times.  

"But FRUIT?  I mean.  For reals?"

"Yes, for reals.  You're addicted to sugar, and that's okay.  A lot of people are.  And Mary Jane, champion that she is, is not always the best culinary influence" (Agreed all stoners everywhere. Yeah, you know what I'm talkin' about.) Like, how many times have you woken up to remnants of last nights channeling of Bobby Flay only to find a half empty cup-o-soup, topped with sriracha and crumbled saltines (Oh my fucking God, that sounds delicious.  Shit).  MY POINT:  your body needs a break from all the terrible things you do to it on a daily basis.  If you live in New York City, like I do, just walking outside is bad for your lungs.  So take care of yourself in the midst of all your debauchery, deal?

This is a stoner snack, not because you'd find it next to the special section at the bodega dedicated to Aunt Little Debbie or Grandma Hostess, but because it's so easy EVEN A STONER CAN RALLY.  

Plus, these bites of pure health are bursting with flavor and a shit ton of that powdery white stuff we all know and love (not cocaine, but sugar, so actually same thing, k bye).  So don't worry, because you can still indulge your sugar high, we're just doing it refined sugar free style.  Au natural, as they say.   

Stuffed Dates:

 

Peanut Butter Banana Bon Bons

After a long day, and weeks of salads (an attempt at restoring my insides to sanity after all the crap I'd consumed on the road) I came back to my temporary home desperate for something sweet.  There's goddamn nothing in this kitchen.  But I knew that wasn't true.  There's always something, I just wasn't in the mood to have to think or invent.  But it turns out that wasn't true either.  All it took was spotting that jar of peanut butter which was next to the bananas which was next to the coconut flakes that got me really excited about the dessert my mouth was about to meet.  Dudes, this is my favorite new treat.  And pretty healthy to boot!  NOT TO MENTION SO EASY A CHILD COULD DO IT.  Seriously.  

INGREDIENTS:

Bananas

Peanut Butter

Vegan chocolate chips

Coconut oil

Agave

Vanilla extract

And if you've got 'em, coconut flakes.  

DIRECTIONS:

Cut the bananas into 1/4" slices, spread a healthy amount of peanut butter on one side, then sandwich together like this and place little sammies on some parchment paper, 'cause shit's about to get mess-ay:

©Alex Wolfe Photography

Meanwhile, in a saucepan over low heat, add the chocolate chips (about half a bag), 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, a small splash of vanilla extract, and a three second squeeze of agave.  I like to do it this way and taste as I go.  Too thick?  Add a tad more coconut oil.  Too watery?  More choco-chips!  Get it so it suits your buds...  Thickness should be just less than that of honey.  

Take the chocolate mixture and pour VERY LIBERALLY all over the 'nanner sammies so that they are completely covered.  Stick one coconut flake on top of each bite sized goody and then transfer to freezer. Set a timer for twenty minutes and check one.  They shouldn't be totally frozen as you want them to have that ice cream softness so they taste just like banana peanut butter coconut flavored klondike bars. Remember those?  Took me ten minutes.  I know you have ten minutes.  And I'd bet you have peanut butter.  

UPDATE:  Want a super easy "how-to-get-a-perfectly-dipped-nanner-sammich?"  You do?! First, get a piece of styrofoam.  Next, hold on to this guy and store with your other baking equipment.  Why?  Because styrofoam is TERRIBLE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, and you should not make a habit of using it.  In fact, if you know of any other materials that poke easily, PLEASE let me know : )  Where were we?  Oh yeah...once you make the peanut butter and banana sandwich: next stick it gently with a toothpick.  Transfer your chocolate from the sauce pan to a small cup so as to create a kind of swimming pool of chocolate with some depth. Take the toothpick and fully submerge pea-nana (peanut butter/banana) in the chocolate, swirl until excess dripping stops, then turn over and push open end of toothpick into the styrofoam.  Repeat until finished, then gently put the whole styrofoam board into fridge for easy, mess free storage while the dessert hardens.